U.S. intelligence agencies are obstructing congressional oversight by failing to disclose relevant information about Covid-19’s origins and potential connections to a Chinese bioweapons program, finds a new report from the Republicans on the House Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence. The HPSCI Republicans led by Rep. Brad Wenstrup of Ohio found “indications that SARS-CoV-2 may have been tied to China’s biological weapons research program and spilled over to the human population during a lab-related incident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).”
U.S. intelligence agencies, along with corporate media and Big Tech, scrambled at Covid’s release to censor suggestions the virus leaked from a lab working on gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Publications such as The Federalist that reported on evidence for the lab leak theory were punished by internet censors.
Wenstrup confirmed during a press conference on Thursday that “right now, there’s no evidence that it came from nature.” He also said China’s communist government likely benefitted from misleading reports that Covid originated in a Chinese wet market, instead of from a government-run lab.
“Since the People’s Republic of China has not been transparent in sharing information, the IC is uniquely situated to provide relevant information. However, the IC has thus far failed to inform the public and failed to keep its Congressional oversight committees fully informed about what it knows,” the report states. “The IC owes the American people greater transparency on the information it already has and must be fully transparent to those in Congress with oversight responsibility.”
Instead of “adequately” addressing lab leak theories, the committee said various intelligence agencies — including the CIA, FBI, DHS, the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Defense Intelligence Agency, the Department of Energy’s Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, and the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security — “downplayed the possibility that SARS-CoV2 was connected to China’s bioweapons program based in part on input from outside experts.”
Not only did intelligence bureaucrats fail to disclose to Congress which “experts” they relied on to reach that conclusion, they also omitted important information from the declassified version of their classified assessment.
These discrepancies, the committee stated, “could have been shared without damaging national security” but were not supplied. Even after “dozens” of rounds of congressional demands, intelligence agencies failed to “disclose to the public its confidence level regarding this bioweapons assessment.” They also “failed to correct claims” in accordance with new information that “undermined a key assertion in the report.”
“These omissions likely skewed the public’s understanding of key issues and deepened mistrust,” the committee noted.
The committee wants its report to encourage intelligence agencies to explore the ties between communist China’s weapons program and Covid-19. If those agencies continue to stonewall, the HPSCI says it welcomes a report from the Government Accountability Office.
“We have this responsibility to protect our national security and our national health,” Wenstrup told reporters. “And that’s why we’re looking into things. If something doesn’t add up, we have the responsibility on behalf of the American people to raise the issues so that we hope to be able to get people in front of us that would explain the differences between the two reports.”
Wenstrup also said that the committee plans to use its subpoena power if intelligence agencies refuse to disclose why there are discrepancies between the classified and unclassified reports.